Hands-On: The Sarpaneva Korona K0 Northern Lights

By Blake Buettner

Finnish independent watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva gave us a look at his new watches this year in Basel, and introduced a new member of the Korona family, the Northern Lights. The watch gets its name from the naturally occurring lights at high altitude regions in the northern hemisphere (sorry, Aurora Australis fans), and the theme is represented by the luminous sandwich dial available in blue, green, and violet. This isn’t just any application of lume, however. The proprietary mixture lights up the entire dial when the lights go out. There’s a familiar moonphase in the mix as well.

The Northern Lights are comprised of three watches, each with a different dial color. The lume is not a simple application, however. It’s a hardened composite that gets its one plate underneath the top, scalloped portion of the dial. The composite is made by Black Badger Advanced Composites, who, with the help of a Canadian company called Ambient Glow Technology, developed the material for use within the Sarpaneva watch. The advantage of the lume is that is comes in 4 different colors (three of which were put to use in the Northern Lights collection), and is insanely bright when charged.

The lume plate sits underneath the steel upper layer of the dial, which is openworked enough to ensure a high percentage of the lume goes un-obscured. In normal daylight, the bottom layer is still visible, and serves as an off-white foundation for the dial, providing a fair amount of legibility. Hour markers are set upon the top layer of the dial, made of lume that glows green against all three dial color variants.

At 6 o’clock we find the now familiar face of the Sarpaneva moonphase complication. The face, a stylized character of Stepan’s own face, is revealed in either white or red gold (the disc has both). Powering the watch is a modified Soprod A10, as we’ve previously seen used in Sarpaneva watches. The real show here is in the crafted dials and robust Korona case, which measures in at a healthy 46mm in diameter.

Each color variant will be limited to eight pieces, and will be priced at 14,500 Euros. Learn more about these and other Sarpaneva watches right here.

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